Time has been good to the village that grew up. Many of the original families, or the descendents of those families, still reside in this quiet community. Those that reside in the homes that are still well maintained are, as in the earlier day, the owners of those homes. Many of the potential ills that plague today’s modern cities are not present in La Mott.
Supported by a strong township government and represented by local representatives that have raised their families in the community, the interaction between the residents and that government is close. On a county level, Cheltenham Township and its incorporated village of La Mott, enjoy the same relationship. Just as the area began as one of the most unique in American history from so many aspects, today it continues maintain that reputation. No only does the area including La Mott continue to enjoy a harmonious racial environment, but it shares that same distinction from a religious aspect.
The interaction between the elected officials, the police and fire departments and all of the township officials is one that only requires a telephone call to access information, remedy a problem or a perceived problem, or to speak directly to someone who relate to the call. In most cases, telephone calls result in positive responsive action within a period of 24 hours. The exception to this are 911 calls to the police department, which have an average response time of less than three minutes.
The old schoolhouse, which is now the La Mott Community Center, is used for many community events. The newly remodeled Center contains a library with computers. The library is linked to the other libraries in the county by a computerized library system.
The Center also contains a basketball court and general meeting room that contains a stage and during elections is used as a polling place by the residents of Cheltenham’s Third Ward, fourth district. (La Mott)
La Mott shares an important place in the modern religious community of Cheltenham Township. On Sunday, March 5, 2000 Cheltenham Township celebrated its 100 years of Township Government with a Centennial Interfaith Service. The La Mott AME Choir led by Bertram Miller, the church’s Minister of Music was one of the participating choirs. The Reverend Alfred Bank, the minister at the time participated in the Benediction.
The order of participation in this prestigious program that was planned by representatives of the 32 congregations or faiths that are a part of today’s religious Township community. These religious groups were introduced and participated in the order of their establishment in the Township. The La Mott AME Church was the third participant on the program. The years covered by the settlement of the faiths began with the establishment in 1816 of the Cheltenham United Methodist Church and concluded with the establishment of the Korean Fellowship Church, in 1997. The La Mott AME church was established in 1888.
This monumental outpouring of religious cooperation, showed to the entire world that still today, Cheltenham Township is a model of unity and diversity. On that day, it was shown to the world what the residents of the Township have always known especially those of La Mott, that the township encompasses a variety of religions, races and cultures who live together in harmony. It is easy to see why the Motto, “Cheltenham, A Great Place to Live!” is without question.
The program was held in the largest public building in the Township to an overflowing crowd of citizens that reflected the religious, racial and cultural make-up of the community. That location was the Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel synagogue.
After more than a century and a quarter there continues to be threads of heritage connecting the early settlers of La Mott to the families living there today. Names that were among those of the first founders are still heard and are on the voter roles today. Thus, there is a solid foundation of those who live here as concerned citizens. Concerned citizens in a true democracy are those that actively participate in the day-to-day operations of their communities. Since its very founding, the citizens of La Mott have been an integral part of the activities of the Township. They have been, and continue be active members of Township boards and Citizen’s Committees. Additionally, Township Meetings of all types are published and are open to the public and are routinely attended by members of the La Mott community.
These open meetings provide all of the residents of the Township to voice their opinions; raise their objections or to voice their support. Once again, the broad base of community spirit is exemplified in settings of this type. La Mott residents have in addition, enjoyed the opportunity of monthly meetings in the community center during which they meet with their Commissioner and other Township officials. These officials, in a informal setting, report activities of all types to the community residents who attend. Such activities include Board of Commissioner’s activities, health department issues, local Police activity reports and general reports that would be of interest to the community. La Mott residents are unique among all of the other communities in the Township, in the holding of these meetings.
The homes in western La Mott were built more that sixty years ago in most part. Those in the eastern part were built much earlier, yet the residents who own or over the years owned those home have maintained them, continually upgraded them and lived in them themselves with their families. This has led to a stability of the community that has at any given time, less than one per cent vacancy.
PICTURES OF HOMES IN THE COMMUNITY
The first Organization Meeting of the Board of Commissioners took place on March 5, 1900
Present Day La Mott Pennsylvania